Thursday, November 25, 2010
What a year! If you had told me one year ago all the changes that would happen in the next 365 days, I wouldn't have believed you. I'd have asked what pharmaceutical you were using. And maybe where I could get some of the same.
Or I might have gone back to bed, and not gotten up for a year, too. It's a good thing Life happens one day at a time. Sime changes were great and some were tough.
- my entire family,
- my life partner (that hurt even worse)
- my beloved Manx cat of 18 years (if you are an animal lover, you know this can be worse than loss of a person)
- my job
- use of my right ankle and left knee for periods of time
-sense of security with various cancer-related issues occurring
But... I also gained:
- freedom from a set of toxic, abusive people (ain't nuthin' better than that!)
- faith in myself to carry on, no matter what the outlook or odds
-faith in my ability to think quickly and act creatively (and FAST!)
- a healthy lifestyle to keep my weight and health under control, in spite of *everything* (now, that's freedom)
-it's never too late to start a new chapter. Be who you always wanted to be. As long as you have a pulse, you can keep learning and start something new.
- Anything good you have been given is yours forever, even if the "anything/anyone good" has to leave physical form.... for now. They are in your heart forever.
- Making lemonade out of lemons can be really fun, and can lead you on new pathways if you have a creative and daring spirit. (Apparently, I have exercised one of those into being... and pretty glad about that.)
- And the converse: It's exhausting making lemon after lemon after lemon into lemonade. It would tax any sane human (fortunately, I am crazy). . But the alternative (sitting around moping) isn't very useful and won't manifest the life you want. So get a little crazy.
- Exercise does help when you are anxious. It helps when you aren't, too.
-I can exercise through nearly anything. I just have to modify a few things when this or that limb does not work.
-I can start every single day with oatmeal and blueberries. Really. They're good!
-Water is the coolest chemical compund on Earth - or anywhere else. It has the coolest properties that nothing else can compare with, and that's why we have life on Earth. Drink lots of it. It is pretty amazing!
-Make Spark Friends! There are some awesome people here!
- Some people will be there for you when things are down. There are some folks who will even hold your hand, let you cry, and .... sit in silence with you. Treasure them. They are gems!
- Some people will celebrate your successes with you, with absolutely no jealousy at all. They are jewels, too!!
-Some people will be both of the above. Hang on tight to these folks, and nurture them, too,, because they are rarer than unicorns!
-Have faith that you can reach a goal. This isn't a race. There is no time limit.
-Feel free to modify your goals. It's your life!
-There's no One, True, and Only Way to live Life. Trust the way that works for you. We're all different, and that is fabulous! It's ok to be different - you might just inspire someone else to be daring and creative.
-Enjoy your life. It's the only thing you truly possess, and it is yours for a short time.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Since many folks were curious, here is a little bit about Palo Mayombe. Just a wee bit, as it would be impossible to sum up an entire religion in a SP blog. It's my take, based on my experiences in the religion. Other people's mileage may vary. My initiation was in Venezuela, so frankly, I trust that TONS more than pseudo-explanations I hear from people who read a book or a website in America, who speak neither Congolese nor Spanish, and just get off on the "power" aspect.
Wikipedia is NOT your friend when it comes to certain topics... and this would be one of them :-)
There are different pathways of Palo, and it was, and is, practiced in what is now the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo). Some Congolese were enslaved and brought to the islands of the coast of what is now North America during the Middle Passage. As people migrated between the U.S. and Cuba, Puerto Rico, the DR, Brazil, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, there has been more migration of religious and spiritual practice.
The branches of Palo remain somewhat obscured, even on American spiritual landscape. Oh, we're not in the closet. We're just not up for a parade!
Palo Monte and Mayombe are earth-centered and element-centered religions that recognize a Supreme Being. Pagan paths, in one sense, in that they are practiced by "country" people. Palo in Spanish means 'stick' or 'wood', and Palo does connect us to the healing properties of woods, trees, and plants. Ideally, it connects one to the reverence for trees and plants.
I was drawn (some/most practitioners would say called - as Palo chooses YOU, not the other way round) by the emphasis on ancestor-reverence, work with the Dead, the reverence and working with Nature, the reverence and working with Forces of Nature, and a Supreme Being.
My padrino (godfather) in Palo once said that this Supreme Being set the Universe in motion, but is old and tired and not directly involved in human lives. That made complete sense for me.
You don't have to agree or argue or anything - this is just an explanation of what it is I've experienced. I respect your path. I am sharing a bit of mine.
Spirits "own" your head ( a bit like Santería or Voudoun); they are Forces of Nature which guide you and protect you. They choose YOU, not the other way round. In many branches and expressions of Paganism, you choose to work with those gods, goddesses, deities, spirits, etc. that resonate with you in some way. In Palo, it is very different. These Elemental Forces (Nkisis) are very different in the way that they interact with us, and with initiates, and our relatioships are different, even though these Forces sound similar to those orichas in Santería and lwas in Voudoun.
You develop a relationship with the Nkisi (spirit/Elemental Force) who owns your head, and you deepen this with your appropriate offerings and prayers as part of your bidirectional communication.
You also develop a deep relationship with your personal ancestors - those people you love who have died - and the larger community of los Muertos, all the Dead who have gone on before. I've found that the relationship between oneself and one's dead are the largest part of Palo. For nearly anything, any question, any remedy, my Padrino will say first, "Talk to your Dead!" It is a daily practice. A bit like Samhain for Pagans and Wiccans. But for us, it is a daily practice, not a yearly holy day.
Some people might look at this as morose, but I've found it deeply enriching and liberating. I love my dead, and feel closer to my ancestors - very healing.
We work with Nature rather than against It. We have free will, but... so does Nature.
Palo does get a bad rap, as the 'negative side of Santería'. Actually, this is perpetuated by people who know pretty much nothing about our spirituality. Santería or Ifa, and the Reglas of Palo are different religions altogether. Yes, some santeros will make an initiation in Palo as part of their particular pathway. Not knocking Santería by any means, but this makes about as much sense to us Paleras/os as hearing that a Christian has been baptized and is going to make their Confirmation -- but first has to make a bar- or bat-mitzvah. Ummm, a foray into another religion, that is related in some ways, but not all. So, you can see our confusion.
Anyway, there are initiations one makes. These are deeply spiritual, emotional experiences that bind us, to our dead, to our nkisis, and to each other. An important one requires being cut, or 'rayada' - literally, scratched. Umm, you get cut or scratched depending on the initiation. The word means 'scratched', but yes, you can be cut. So, when one is 'rayada', there is no more cutting the skin after that. Oh, you can have emergency surgery, but not elective. No plastic surgery in my future. And no tattoos or piercings.
So, I do have ritual scarification. It's not flashy, but it's there, for me, not the world. I've found that most practitioners are very quiet people, literally. usually soft-spoken folks. Somewhere in life, they have been through an ordeal. We tend to be more introverted and meditative. Many of us work with the dead, the very, very ill, or those who have been through tragedy, in some way. It's not an employment requirement - we all just notice this trend. I've mostly met water signs.... Camcers and Scorpios mainly, and a few Taureans. It's a very watery, cool, quietly meditative pathway. It's not for everyone. But if it calls you, you find your way.
Belief in a Supreme Being isn't necessary, as in Buddhism. You do walk a particular pathway, as in Buddhism. It's a positive pathway.... no matter what B movies you might see this Halloween!
Saturday, October 23, 2010
I filled one out ages ago, but Life keeps changing, and I read a few on my friend feed, and thought, "Why not?"
1. What time did you get up this morning? Morning?? What's morning? Noon.
2. How do you like your steak? I don't like steak, so I'll pass...and thought of eating the vahana of Siva makes me sad...
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Withnail and I... old movie, great strange little cinema overseas
4. What is your favorite TV show? I don't have a tv, but when I had access to an elliptical that did have one, it was... NCIS
5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? London, UK
6. What did you have for breakfast? oatmeal, flax seeds and blueberries. Every day.
7. What is your favorite cuisine? Thai, Indian and Indonesian.. can't decide
8. What foods do you dislike? okra... and red meat... well, pretty much most meat, except fish flesh, which makes me feel like a carnivore, but there you have it
9. Favorite Place to Eat? S & M Café - where else would you go after a collaring ceremony? Tofu sausages to die for
10. Favorite dressing? Sesame ginger
11.What kind of vehicle do you drive? A 1996 Saturn - it still runs just fine
12. What are your favorite clothes? Anything in PVC vinyl... or velvet. I am wearing velvet leggings and a PVC bodice at the moment
14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? It may have differing amounts of water, but there's always oxygen, nitrogen and carbon molecules, so it's always... Full.
15. Where would you want to retire? I'm not retiring. I decided that when I was 6 years old, and the economy has made sure my wish came true. Plus, I always love what I do.
16. Favorite time of day? Whenever it is night.
17. Where were you born? In a city in Massachusetts, where I lived for a whole week, before I was transported to a tiny town in deep northwestern Maine... so I usually just say 'Maine' to make things easy.
18. What is your favorite sport to watch? Baseball, though I haven't had time to watch it lately
19. How many siblings? legally, 2, supposedly.. They've been gone for a very long time. Ahhh, the joy of dysfunctional family.
20. Favorite pastime/hobby? Reading, whipping, writing, whipping, performing my work live, whipping, hiking, whipping, and some flogging
21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this? Everyone
22. Bird watcher? For nearly all my life. Yes, I've seen Jimi Hendrix' parrots, and lived with toucans in Venezuela.
23. Are you a morning person or a night person? Night. I know that's hard to believe.
24. Do you have any pets? I live with a cat whom I adore, but I wouldn't call Her a pet. And you mustn't either. As we all know, Cats own Us :-)
25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? Let's see... I am getting A's in all my classes (hard work does pay off), my newer slave looks like Dolph Lundgren and I can climb him like a jungle gym, my newest slave acquired a horse farm in upstate NY, and... oh, I made the jump into polyamory :-)
26. What did you want to be when you were little? Morticia Addams or Lily Munster. I did. Then I grew up, graduated with a degree in Folklore & Mythology before it was trendy, and owned an occult store. I sold it when I got married and moved to Caracas.. what was I thinking? I also wanted to be a teacher, a scientist, and a writer. The schedule was all mapped - I'd teach in the morning, go to the lab in my home in the afternoon (I had a great imagination), and write in the evening. Guess what I do now?!? That little 6 year old was wise, very wise....
27. What is your best childhood memory? Kayaking with my dad, who was my absolute best friend! :-))) Miss you tons, Dad! Hug Angus, Blackie, Betsy, Pugsley, and Thinge for me!
28. Are you a cat or dog person? CAT!!!!!!! I know that's hard to imagine. I grew up with cats, and have shared a home with at least one my entire life. Venus is the Cat I serve (for the past 15 years)... I bow to no one but Her. She taught Me everything I need to know about Domination. I've been known to ask how people cope with Life without a Cat. No one has the answer....
29. Are you married? Not legally. I've been married, though, and liked it. I'm just not into the Home Ec krappe. I like having a stable though. I like it a lot.
30. Always wear your seat belt? Always
31. Been in a car accident? Yes, been rear-ended - and not in a fun way - by fools who just had to run that red light to gain that whole extra 10 feet.
32. Any pet peeves? Ahhh, yes. Stupidity. Energy vampires who run hot and cold, expect you to be there for them night and day, and are not there for you, who love you yet hate you, revere you yet degrade you, are jealous, clingy and demanding. Have you met one of these? Me, too. Closed-minded, judgmental folks, which often includes the subset of energy vampires. And gum-chewing.
33. Favorite Pizza Toppings? Onions, carmelized onions, scallions.
34. Favorite Flower? Mmm, too many to name... but I'll try. Purple roses ( my slave knows why). Irises and cyclamen plants... and pipsissewas, because they remind me of childhood and Dad.
35. Favorite ice cream? I like frozen yogurt... peach, or chocolate-with-edible- objects-in-it.
36. Favorite fast food restaurant? Hmmm... not much into fast food...
37. How many times did you fail your driver's test? None.
38. From whom did you get your last email? slave simon
39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Honour of London. No question. I could live in Honour of London. I wouldn't need to eat. Really.
40. Do anything spontaneous lately? Let a man I'd never met fly me to NYC... hmmm, he might make a good slave. . Sophie Tucker was right. Do you know her most fanous quote? *winks*
41. Like your job? YES!! And... due to my ex-job, I have the wonderful job of being a full-time student. And part-time Dominatrix. Both of which professions I adore. Naughty nurse by day, naughtier Nurse by night. Due to My very personal slave(s), I've had less time for the professional dominant arts. But I do have time for acadame. they knew that going in.
42. Broccoli? Yes, thank you, I'll have more.
43. What was your favorite vacation? Every trip to London :-) My favourites have been ones during which performed.
44. Last person you went out to dinner with? Thierry
45. What are you listening to right now? The music of Venus purring and the breathing of slave adonis under My feet.
46. What is your favorite color? Black, with purple and turquoise as a very close tie.
47. How many tattoos do you have? None. I was rayada en Palo Mayombe many years ago. No cutting the skin after that. But I have beautiful ritual scarification from my initiation.
48. How many people will fill this out? No idea, but it will be fun to read and learn about my friends.
49. What time did you finish this quiz? 3:10 PM EDT
50. Coffee Drinker? No. gastritis. ouch.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
I'm sitting here, basking in the after-glow of what was supposed to be a healing... fling.
Except neither Me, nor the Adonis who is busy cancelling appointments in NYC right now, so he can stay on here, are fling material.
I didn't factor that in.
I was just lookin' for a boy toy, a fun way to burn some calories ...OK, pounds... I put on after eating chips for tne first time in over a year. Often referred to as "break-up binging'. Which I haven't done much of at all in the past 3 years. Throw in that I was losing my life partner, and... it was rough. I couldn't stop crying.
But, I think my new friend LIFEANDALL nailed it. Some... OK, most...men are easily intimidated by a healthy, attractive woman. Factor is some serious accomplishments, and... she's terrifying. It sounds all wrong, but maybe such a lady respresents a mountain of work to keep up with.
(I'm really not. I'm very easy-going. Men are always surprised by that. Very strange.)
I had found a fabulous man who I still believe is the mate of my soul. W/we've had an amazing relationship, and continue to have an emotional and spiritual bond, he made Me realise that there's hope and love in store for Women, post-rape, no matter what the rape has done to Her body, or brain. he made Me believe in hope for unusual Ladies Who believe in (and have to have) connection with someone at all levels... not just physical, vanilla, D/s, but who believe in an emotional, intellectual and spiritual level as well.
For all that, I am grateful. I learned a lot, and expanded my concept of love. How can I stop loving a person I have once loved? If I do, it cheapens the bond. If I loved someone, there must have been something good about them.
Fast forward to meeting the 6'4" blond, blue-eyed body-builder. Mmmm, mmmm.
No, I'm not putting up pictures... yet. Earth girls may be easy, but we have some grace.
It never, ever occurred to me, till LIFEANDALL wrote it, that men may be frightened by a healthy-weight attractive woman. I mean, don't men have it all? What could they fear, if they make all the rules? Don't they get to pick and choose in this society? Unless you are a Lady with an... 'alternate' .... sexuality and political worldview. But still, even We alternative Ladies live in the world-at-large,too, not in a vacuum.
So, I got to thinking that if I am a bit 'frightening', then maybe I should start hanging out with men who are not frightened of Me.
(Well, not at first... and only by mutual consent. I have morals. *wink*)
I learned that handsome men have a similar problem. Ohhhhh, to have these problems, I hear you saying! Hey, they are still problems if you get hurt.
This particular gorgeous specimen found Me attractive (OK, 'hot' in his words - but I'll take 'em!) and interesting. And unique. And non-judgmental.
he told me that in O/our lifetsyle, he is often overlooked. Women assume he is just some dumb jock who wandered into the wrong place. They would rather have the 'emo boy'. He wants to say, "Nooo. emo boy will just use you, and play his terrible guitar while you support him, as he makes more demands... Pick me, Pick me!" But he doesn't, because that is contrary to who he is. Apparently, folks assume he couldn't possibly be A) smart enough to know about the lifestyle, or B) deep into it and NOT the role his height, form and looks would make one think.
he was blown away that I approached him and treated him with respect and dignity. And... erm.... isn't that what W/we all want??
Yes, he's physically gorgeous, but he's also smart and sweet....and been around the block enough times to know that it's not easy to find Ladies like Me. Best of all, he knows what it is like to be overlooked because of 'assumptions' by other people, as opposed to his actions or intrinsic value as a human.
(I wish the heck this SP thang had underlining capabilities! Or I could write assumptions in magenta...)
Soooo.... I'm taking a little vacay. I'm gonna enjoy My present. I'm learning that wealthy handsome men are intimidating to (most) women. But they are human beings, and need love too. And recognition for who they are as people.
Is it a fling... or a start of something beautiful?
Who cares? he's making dinner.
All I know is that the poor,ugly men out there, who keep groaning about 'women', wanting shallow things and vain men have it all wrong. Some ladies DO give them chances. In fact, chance after chance after... and We just want to be appreciated. But ... if they can't appreciate us, then we'll go for the other 'outliers'. The ones who aren't afraid of us and like us just as we are, the ones who have no desire for us to stunt our own growth or hide our Light.
If that means a handsome, wealthy mover and shaker, well, them's the breaks.
We all, all of us, want to be appreciated for our own unique selves. The people on all parts of the spectrum. The folks with some extra punds, and the folks without. Those with extra income, and those who have hardly enough.
The folks whom society calls "pretty" or "handsome", and those whom society calls "alternative". Well, *I* say "alternative"... society says something else.
Well, dinner's ready. I may be off the boards for a bit. I do deserve a vacay, according to my horoscope.
Be well, Spark Friends, and never judge a book by its cover... even if it's a really pretty cover!!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
I've been in a depression cycle of late. I'm coping, but I do struggle with the disease.
Yes, I have reached my goal. For all those tremendously curious people, who are wondering about the numbers ( and....hmm, why do we love numbers so much? And other people's bidness? Hmm, a puzzle indeed), and my 'unstated goals', well, here are the stats for ya.
I am 5' 9" and weigh 155 lbs now.
I am in the healthy BMI Zone!
I can think of a lot of SP people that would jump up and down over that!
Heck, I can think of loads of people out there in the world ( yup, there's a world out there beyond the compter. I like to go there. Spend most of my time there.) I think they'd jump up and down over that.
After reaching my goal, I decided to set another one. Thought I'd try to lose another 15. Ummm, reconsidering. Do I really need to be 140?? I'm 2 inches shorter than Liv Tyler, and I'm not gonna be in any movies anytime soon. Hey, if I make it deeper into the Zone, awesome. If I maintain, awesome.
Just going through a serious funk, as there are now loads of relationship issues. Unlike a lot of women here, I found that being 5'9" and 130 lbs in college and my 20s wasn't so much fun. Oh women/girls admred that, and some were catty and jealous. And men liked to LOOK, but it seemed that I was always: The Vacation From The Girlfriend. Never 'good enough' to be The Girlfriend.
Oh, I was told I was lovely, kind, intelligent, non-judgmental..what they'd always wanted.... hey, occasionally even pretty! But ... they always wanted to return to the ex, or the current GF, of whom I'd had no inkling, or there would have been no gracing them with My Womanhood, LOL!
I didn't understand it then, and I don't understand it now.
Then, by my 30s, I just...... gave up. Being pretty, healthy. kind, intelligent and all that was 'all wrong'. So, since I was doing everything wrong, might as well try the opposite, right? Eat! And ohhhh, I ate Myself into oblivion. I felt better, because I was deadening the pain. And hey, if all those other attributes weren't enough, and neither was slimness, then why not experiment? Eat... and see what happens.
Oh, and I should mention, I am a Clairol Indian. I regularly stripped My hair and tried other colours. Blonde, red, brown, colours of the rainbow. Aqua was a favourite! So, while I was eating, I dyed it "Frump Dumpy Brown".
And surprise of surprises, I met a man who loved me for me! How strange!! I enjoyed cooking, being the breadwinner, the whole bit. We got married, and we were going to live happily ever after. Because hey, now I weighed 202, and had Frumpy Brown hair. I finally figured out The Secret. Wayyyyy before Rhonda Byrbe, LOL!
Then, I made a terrible mistake. I got... happy! I really liked being married. I loved being introduced proudly as a Wife. I remember the first time I was introduced that way, I almost cried. I almost fainted the first time I was introduced as The Girlfriend, but that is another blog!
So, I was happy. Lovin' my life. And guess what? I started losing weight! Yup, I was cooking, in charge of the vegetables, back to walking, back to enjoying my life. I didn't need food to stave off the pain, because... I didn't have any.
I got back real close to my college weight.
He left me for a short, chubby, redhead. Who was Being-In-Total-Control-of-Herself-y. What the....????
Needless to say, I went back to my old habits. B.F. Skinner was right. I hate admitting that, but hey, he was pretty smart. I ate my way all the way up to 225 lbs. That is still a lot even on a 5' 9" frame... and even with linebacker shoulders!
Lotsa pain gone, but felt frumpy and dumpy even without the brown hair, LOL! It wasn't.... Me.
More stuff than I care to write here, but .... I took My body back! It's Mine, I like how it looks, and I worked harrrrrd to lose those 70 lbs! I can't even pick up those 40 lbs of dogfood in each hand to see what it was like carrying all that around.
So, I am healthy, sweet-tempered, still intelligent. Didn't lose any mass from My brain. Finally found a man whom I thought would overlook My 'lookin' good' and feeling good, and...now all sorts of things are amok.
I just don't get it. I am having: What the...? Syndrome.
Oh yeah, I grew up with Wimmin's Liberation. I heard Gloria Steinhem. A Woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.
But, it still hurts.
I know I'll hear "You did it for you", "You don't need a man", "You are a strong women", etc. All that good stuff.
Well, ya know what? Strong Women have feelings too, and Mine are hurting. A lot!
(Note: Beware the Strong Woman who has a single-tail whip and knows how to use it!!!! LOL!)
These are silly petty problems, compared with what I coped with 8 years ago, and following. Those were health issues of fatality-magnitude. What I have now? These are the problems I dreamed of!
But... it still hurts. I am uber-tempted to just eat myself back into oblivion. Bread, pasta, chocolate = nodding. It's my drug of choice, after all.
Just needed to vent. I'd like to hear from the OTHER side. The women who found men who loved them EVEN though they were at a healthy weight, feeling good, and looking good. I hear it happens. Can you give Me some hope???
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